County Opens Its 26th Liquor Store
DLC says Rockville location could reach $8 million in sales in three years
Inside the new DLC store in Rockville.
Montgomery County has opened its 26th liquor store at 300 N. Washington St., about two blocks from Rockville Town Square.
The Department of Liquor Control, which operates the stores, projects first-year sales to be between $3 million and $4 million at its new location, and the store could reach $8 million in three years, said Diane Wurdeman, acting chief of retail operations for the DLC. Only a few stores reach $8 million a year in sales, she said.
The DLC controls the wholesale distribution of all alcohol in the county as well as the retail sale of all spirits. Some elected officials—including state Del. Kirill Reznik—have faulted the county’s control of liquor sales. Legislative attempts to privatize liquor sales failed during the 2016 General Assembly.
Last month, County Executive Ike Leggett proposed the creation of a liquor authority to oversee the DLC. The authority would send its profits to county coffers, but remain separate from county government. The proposal has received lukewarm support from the County Council and state legislators.
“In general, I will say, I still believe we need to privatize liquor distribution in the county,” Reznik said Monday. “Government does many things very well, but government shouldn’t be selling things to the public. That’s the role of private enterprise.”
Reznik said the DLC issue is a larger conversation than the opening of one store.
“To the extent they are reacting to public demand, I can’t blame them for that, but those responses should be met by the private sector, not by government,” he said.
The 8,000-square-foot store has free parking, and the hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday noon to 6 p.m., Sundays.
The new store offers an extensive inventory, with a “highly rated” wine section with displays of wines rated at least 90 points by raters such as Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. The store also has a “local” section to highlight wine and spirits produced in Maryland and surrounding states.
The inventory also includes selections from barrels purchased only for Montgomery County from Woodford Reserve, Jack Daniels and Breckenridge.
According to a DLC press release, the store offer customers food and wine pairing wheels, beverage openers, corkscrews, wine gift bags, and other items while supplies last.